The year 2018 will be a defining year for Nigerian politicians – As the 2019 general elections draws near, many politicians will pitch their tent with political parties ready to accommodate their interests – Senator Stella Oduah representing Anambra north senatorial district is one of such politicians
Senior officials of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Anambra state have confided that Senator Stella Oduah is set to dump the Peoples Democratic Party for the party. A highly placed official of APGA in Anambra state said that all is set for the former minister of aviation to join the ruling party in the state. According to the official, the defection of Oduah to APGA is “already a done deal.” Senator Stella Oduah is generally seen as a political heavyweight in Anambra state.
His words: “Her defection would not be in any way controversial because she already has a fantastic relationship with the governor which dates back to when both of them were not even politicians. “After she was sidelined in the PDP primaries last year, the senator reached out to Governor Obiano and even tacitly supported him during the election. “Her defection is already a done deal. She knows that the powers that be in the PDP will likely frustrate her ambition to return to the Senate in 2019.” Another source in Anambra state chapter of APGA stated that the governor is favourably disposed to Senator Oduah joining the party. The source stated that Governor Obiano is preparing to use the 2019 elections “to not only dominate the state politically, but also extend APGA’s reach across the South-east and beyond.” “Senator Oduah is a political heavyweight and Governor Obiano knows this. He is favourably disposed to her joining the party, because she openly supported him during the governorship election. “It is just a matter of time really for her to join us. We will welcome her wholeheartedly.” Efforts to reach the media aides of the senator proved abortive as at the time this report was published. A source close to the senator said however that the rumours of Oduah joining APGA has been very prominent in Anambra political circles. “We have heard it severally especially in Anambra, but madam has not said anything, so I don’t know if it is true or not, but I know she is very close to Governor Obiano. “I won’t be surprised though if she makes the move, because she felt really bad the way she and others were treated at the PDP governorship primaries last year,” the source said. Oduah, 55, alongside business magnate, Ifeanyi Ubah, pulled out of the PDP governorship primary election last year, citing imposition as her reason. Ubah has since joined the APGA, as the PDP primary election produced Oseloka Obaze as the party’s flag-bearer in the election. Obaze, came third with 70,293 votes at the general election which was won by incumbent governor, Willie Obiano. A furious Oduah had described Obaze as an ‘outsider’ after he emerged the PDP’s candidate in the primaries conducted by Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi state. Obaze, a former secretary to the Anambra state government was a member of APGA, few months before the governorship election. “Bringing somebody from outside the party and who has not stayed for long, it means that you are saying that you lack capacity within party members. “But I don’t think we lack capacity, I think PDP has enough capacity to run for that election,’’ she told the News Agency of Nigeria. After the elections, Senator Oduah described the victory of Governor Obiano as an end to impunity in the state. She congratulated Obiano for his success at the polls which she described as a victory for all Anambra people. “For the first time Anambra people have been politically liberated, the issue of godfatherism has been finally put to death, the issue of imposition by any party or group has also been put to death. “This victory is a victory of hope for Anambra people, it is a victory of progress for Anambra people and it is a victory for development,’’ Oduah said in another chat with NAN.